By Eric Abrahamsen, January 16, '18
Spurred by Three Percent's new searchable database of translations, in particular the ability to add new or missing titles, I've finally gotten around to finishing the first version of a similar "suggestions" function for the Paper Republic database of translated Chinese literature.
You can find the "Suggest an addition" link on the left-hand side of the PR pages, or follow this link directly. Right now it's limited to suggesting works of literature (though there's a write-in field for authors who aren't in the database), but I hope to eventually expand the options. If you're adding new works of literature to the database, please remember that Chinese originals and English translations have equal standing, so make two suggestions.
And thanks! If you have any suggestions about the suggestion (meta-suggestions!), please leave them in comments on this post.
By Nicky Harman, January 14, '18
In-depth article about Jia Zhangke and the Pingyao film festival, including a mention and still from Han Dong's debut A Night at the Wharf [《在码头》] (Han Dong directed, Jia Zhangke produced): https://www.filmcomment.com/article/jia-zhangke-pingyao-film-festival/
203: Books reviewed in 2017
Number of reviewed books by country of author (51 countries in total):
- France 27.5
- Japan 26
- US 20.5
- UK 16
- Italy 10
- Spain 10
- Russia 8
- India 6
- Romania 5
- Belgium 4
By David Haysom, December 30, '17
Which works of sci fi were worth reading this year? Whose fiction has forged a new way of representing dialect in literature? Why are Chinese authors reading the critic James Wood? And what was life like for Communist guerrillas in the jungles of 1980s Malaysia? Find out in our list of the best books published in Chinese in 2017, as chosen by Paper Republic and friends!
YUNNAN, Southwest China — Guo Youzhen takes a deep breath and starts singing about the origins of the universe.
She sings of Gezi, the Creator, who forged the earth and the sky from nothing. She sings of Ah Fu, whose three sons clung fast to the edge of the sky and hauled it downward to meet the earth below. She sings of the pythons that encircled the earth and divided it into uplands and lowlands, the ants that nibbled at the ground’s frayed edges until they all lay straight, and the menagerie of wild animals that applied the finishing touches.
Three pairs of boars, three pairs of elephants,
dug the soil for 77 days and nights.
They made the mountains; they made the hills.
They made the flats, and the beds that water fills.
Guo reaches the end of the verse and pauses for breath. “It’s a very long song,” she smiles. “You could sing for three days and nights, and still not reach the end.”
Big sky, small world — this is right.
Heaven and earth are well-aligned.
There are only a handful of people left who can sing the creation myths of the Yi people, one of China’s 55 official ethnic minorities, from start to finish. The myths form the centerpiece of meige, a style of sung storytelling that has been passed down among Yunnan province’s Yi communities for centuries.
By Nicky Harman, December 18, '17
Edizioni Ca' Foscari are proud to announce the publication of the first volume of the peer-reviewed series "Translating Wor(l)ds". Littérature chinoise et globalisation. Enjeux linguistiques, traductologiques et génériques, edited by Nicoletta Pesaro and Yinde Zhang, is available in open access here
Lots of interesting articles by eminent translators and academics like Martina Codeluppi, Nicoletta Pesaro, Victor Vuilleumier, Yinde Zhang, Shuang Xu, Noël Dutrait, Paolo Magagnin and Barbara Leonesi.
On the list: Can Xue/Karen Gernant & Chen Zeping, and Chan Ho-Kei/Jeremy Tiang.
It is timely to encounter these works [essays in Jottings] today, for although the People’s Republic is anything but voiceless under Xi Jinping, it has paradoxically become silent. Censorship and fear are commonplace, as has so often been the case in the past, and there is cowed conformity. Instead of celebrating a polyphony of voices, Xi Jinping and his propagandists extol Official China, one that speaks in a monotone allowing only for one, unified narrative: “The China Story.” In this story dissent has been quelled and heterodox views eliminated.
Conditions in China, with strong government controls over (physical) publication -- of books and magazines -- certainly were conducive to an explosive growth of online publication unlike anywhere else. As Hockx notes, the requirement of a 'book number' (ISBN) for the publication of any book in China has presented a considerable hurdle, and allowed for continued strong state control over what gets published in physical form. While online-publishing is not a "free-for-all from which state regulators have withdrawn entirely", control has been both lighter and not as far-reaching -- including for the simple logistical reason that it's nearly impossible to keep track of everything published online. Hockx provides numerous interesting examples of how the state has tried to maintain order -- and what the red lines are (such as the treatment of sexually explicit material) --, as well the evasive maneuvers authors and publishers can take, such as avoiding the use of terms that are readily flagged (and coming up with creative substitutes).
Dà Zhōnghuá Júyùwǎng 大中华局域网
Qualifications for entrance to Chinternet: 1) Server based on the mainland, where the law permits censorship and unrestricted government access to end-user data, 2) For sites with servers outside the PRC, politically correct content
According to the company's [China Reading's] IPO prospectus, during the first half of 2017, active users of the reading platform reached 191.8 million, comprising 179.3 million smart phone users and 12.5 million computer surfers. Its business models in forms of VIP charges and categorized authors lead in the online reading industry, thanks to the industrial mogul Wu Wenhui, who initiated and promoted the acquisition and founded the online publishing and reading function.
The major revenue source is readers' fees - exemplified by China Reading's 84.9 percent of income generated by payments for online reading during the first half of 2017.
Just one of the many articles and interviews anticipating Anna Holmwood's translation of "A Hero Born", the first volume in Jin Yong's series Legends of the Condor Heroes. Publication due February 2018 - we can't wait!
By Helen Wang, November 21, '17
As usual, we at Paper Republic have assembled a list of book-length translations from Chinese into English over the year. Congratulations to all authors and translators! This year’s list is longer than ever, and several books have won international prizes. Your additions, comments, corrections to this list are welcome - please leave a comment below and we’ll update the list.
This is our sixth annual list; previous lists are here: 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016.
By David Haysom, November 19, '17
The inaugural EU-China International Literary Festival is taking place this week, with authors from Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Greece, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg and Slovakia taking part in events with local authors across Beijing and Chengdu.
Visit the official site for a complete list of events (many of which will be live streamed).
Holmwood said that many Chinese fans of Jin Yong have been “quite obsessed” with how she would translate the myriad names of martial arts moves in the novels in particular. Some of the translations used by Holmwood include “Branch Beats the White Chimpanzee,” “Nine Yin Skeleton Claw,” and “Lazy Donkey Roll”—a move whose true strength is belied by its apparent softness, she explained.
Home to more than 300 million children, China presents the world’s largest market for such books. According to a report by state news agency Xinhua, around 40,000 children’s titles of all kinds are published in China every year. However, in 2015, over 15,500 titles were imported, and only about 8,000 Chinese works were exported. Still, the nearly 2-to-1 ratio marked the best year for Chinese books in two decades — it was once 48-to-1.
By Nicky Harman, November 16, '17
Today's news: our very own Helen Wang has been recognised on the international stage for her “special contribution” to children’s literature at the 2017 Chen Bochui International Children's Literature Awards in Shanghai. Details in this link.
By David Haysom, November 5, '17
11.11: November 11th, originally a day for singletons in China to either bemoan or celebrate their unattached status, but increasingly an excuse for unbridled consumerism under the auspices of the various online shopping behemoths. At Paper Republic we’re going to be stripping back the commercial self-indulgence and marking the occasion with a new run of four short stories about love, longing, and loneliness. We’re very happy to have Michelle Deeter as our managing editor for the series, which is entitled “Bare Branches” (a literal translation of the Chinese name for the occasion, 光棍节); starting this week, you can look forward to seeing a new story appearing on the site every Thursday for the next month!
By David Haysom, November 4, '17
Though you probably haven’t been hearing too much from Pathlight recently, rest assured we’ve been keeping busy behind the scenes!
The David T. K. Wong Creative Writing Fellowship is a unique and generous annual award of £26,000 to enable a fiction writer who wants to write in English about the Far East to spend a year in the UK, at the University of East Anglia in Norwich.
The Fellowship is named for its sponsor Mr David Wong, a retired Hong Kong businessman who has also been a teacher, journalist and senior civil servant, and is a writer of fiction. The Fellowship was launched in 1997 and the first Fellow appointed from 1st October 1998.
And who was Wang Xiaobo, the author? He was not part of the state writers’ association and hadn’t published fiction before. But after its publication in Taiwan, The Golden Age was soon published in China and became an immediate success. Wang followed it with a torrent of novellas and essays. He was especially popular with college students, who admired his cynicism, irony, humor—and of course the sex.
By Nicky Harman, October 23, '17
Han Dong's first film, One Night at the Wharf, adapted from his novella At the Wharf/在码头, had its first showing at Busan Film Festival last week and got a decent review in Variety. Han Dong directed it, Jia Zhangke was the producer. No news about when it's coming westward yet. More pictures of the screening here.